From ArticleWorld

Rebellion may be defined as an uprising against rules and more often than not an armed resistance to the authority of an established government. Rebellions are by and large aimed at removing specific leaders or governments rather than bringing about pertinent structural changes in society.


Rebels have been called by different names at different times in history. They were called Continentals by the British in the revolutionary wars, The American called them, Confederates in the American civil war while Boxer rebels rose against the influence of western ideas in China during 1899 - 1900. The Jacobite rebels belonged to Britain and the soldiers who rose against the British East India Company in 1857 in India were branded mutineers.

Rebellion may become large and develop into full scale civil wars while others may be crushed before they reach unmanageable sizes. Thus, any kind of show of strength against authority falls under the umbrella term of rebellion. They may be summarized as:

  1. civil disobedience
  2. resistance
  3. uprising
  4. mutiny

Some famous rebellions

  • One of the earliest documented rebellion – 73 B.C. to 71 B.C. – was the Roman slave rebellion. A Roman slave, Spartacus, led a large army of slaves in an uprising against his rulers.
  • The American War of Independence was fought between the American-British rebels, who rose against the British rule, and the American-British loyalists and the war ended with Britain accepting defeat and recognizing USA as an independent state.
  • The first war of Indian independence as it later came to be known as, the Sepoy Mutiny, of 1857 was actually a revolt by the soldiers of British East India Company against their foreign rulers. The mutiny started when the soldiers were ordered by their superiors to bite the bullets that they used in their guns with their teeth. Since these bullets were made of beef grease and cows are held sacred in India, no Hindu was ready to comply. This led to a rebellion and the fall of the East India Company in India.